Well Winter is most definitely upon us with clocks going back and storm warnings dominating the headlines. Nights are drawing in and we’ve just switched the office heating on for the first time as the temperature drops (we do have a rather large old building to heat). It’s been a busy summer for Moov2 both with some amazing client projects and also attending (and organising) some fantastic events.
The digital industry is like no other when it comes to events and meet-ups. It would be doing it a disservice to simply call these “business networking events”. Certainly a lot of networking does happen but also so much more. Typically, these events are put on as a result of a passion for what we do and a desire for like-minded individuals to meet and share experience and learning. It’s pretty unusual for an industry to be so full of people who are so passionate and enthusiastic about what they do that they take time out of their personal lives to organise, attend and thoroughly enjoy even more work-related activities.
So what have we been up to?
Barcamps are informal, user generated conferences (often known as an “un-conference”) where attendees take their turn to become the speakers to share their knowledge. There are hundreds of Barcamp events organised around the world and Barcamp Bournemouth is our local incarnation. It was a great event with a good attendance and lots of great talks ranging from startup money advice to a talk on an autonomous toy tank! Our founder (Dan) presented a talk entitled “How to suck at running a business” in which he turned his experiences and learnings of running Moov2 about face in an explanation of what not to do in order to highlight his advice for other entrepreneurs. You can view the slides from his talk here.
Way back in April we took a trip to to sunny Bournemouth for the second ever HackBmth hack day. Hack days are events where people meet up and work on side projects for in a condensed time period, usually of a day or two. These ideas can be anything from a new startup idea, a useful tool or commonly, something a little more light-hearted which you wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to work on in your 9-5 job.
HackBmth is a day long event with no strict rules or pressure and simply encourages local, digital creatives to gather and hack on their own ideas and share their progress at the end of the day. Dan experimented with the latest Microsoft Kinect SDK whilst one of our developers Pete collaborated with other developers from other agencies to work on a web-based, multiplayer version of the family game UNO (with considerably more success). You can view some of the other projects worked on here.
Dan and Andrea headed back to Bournemouth to attend the 18th Meetdraw event. Meetdraw is a social event organised by a collective of Bournemouth based creatives working for various agencies or independently. Meetdraw events are organised by volunteers purely for the good of the “digital scene” in and around Bournemouth. The events usually have a theme and this was no exception with the theme being “school sportsday”. The occasion had taken over the end of Bournemouth pier and consisted of a relay race taking in traditional sports day activities (sack race, egg & spoon) combined with some features of the pier (hook-a-duck and the helter skelter). Another great event with a massive attendance highlighting the strength of the areas digital industry.
Windows Phone Dev Day
After a successful Windows Phone Developer Day last year, Dan and Scott decided to organise another event. Windows Phone is still very much the underdog in the smartphone space but has made great strides in the past couple of years. The event was another great success and offered some excellent speakers ranging from Microsoft to start up apps businesses, advertising platforms through to freelancers sharing their technical experience. Thanks once again to our friends at Redweb for hosting us.
All of the events mentioned so far have been based in Bournemouth, which has developed an absolutely thriving digital scene over the past few years and is reflected in the number of events and the attendance they draw and also in the number of digital businesses being established and growing in the area. Southampton on the other hand has had much less going on in terms of events and meet ups leaving enthusiastic folks typically having to travel to Bournemouth, London or Brighton for most events. Southampton Creatives is one such effort to address this and offers a monthly gathering for local digital creatives to meet up and get to know each other. It’s great to see a build up of interest locally and we’re happy to support and encourage our local scene as best we can.
In an attempt to further encourage the development of a local “digital scene” in Southampton, we helped to organise the first hacksoton, our Southampton take on the hack day concept. The first hacksoton was held at the offices of Southampton based agency Etch who we worked with to run the event. The event was a roaring success and attracted a good audience both locally and from further afield. A relaxed, low pressure event which even made time for a BBQ on a sunny town quay. Feedback was good and we had a great show and tell at the end of the day with some great efforts made by attendees. Dan and Lawrence made a good effort in building a simple multiplayer html5 game using NodeJS (an unfamiliar platform which offered some great learning). The next HackSoton event is scheduled for November 16th, come and join us.
2013 was the third annual Silicon Beach held in Bournemouth and was another excellent conference. Silicon Beach is a two day digital marketing event which pulls together some of the best speakers in industry talking on subjects ranging from the evolution of marketing campaigns to understanding innovation and even some fascinating talks on “futurology”. Sillicon Beach is one of the stand out events of the year for us due to the diverse talks and the inspiration they spark for our own business and the projects we execute for our clients.
Most recently, the entire Moov2 team descended on Portsmouth to attend a creative hack day called “Pubhack”, based as the name might suggest, in a pub. Tempting as the food and drink on offer were the main focus for the day was a light hearted competition to come up with an interesting hack based on the provided theme of “post-apocalypse”. Our collective effort came in the form of a browser based game called “Last man standing”. We made use of the new HTML5 battery API to create a multiplayer game highlighting which players had the most power remaining and highlighting the location of anyone who is plugged into a power supply (by means of the HTML5 geolocation capabilities). Pubhack was another excellent hack day and good to experience a new event in a new venue.
Despite summer being officially over, we still intend to keep up our presence at any events we can get to. They’re a great chance to make new contacts, learn new skills, get motivated and be inspired.